If you’re your own boss, then you will need to know about DBS checks for the self-employed – but it can be difficult to confirm which level of DBS check is most suitable for you or what you need to do to get one. In this blog we will outline the various steps you can take to ensure you are applying for the most suitable level of check.
DBS checks for the self-employed: Which check are you eligible for?
If you’re looking to apply for a DBS check as an individual, the only type you can request is a basic check.
Self-employed people are unable to make the recruitment and suitability decision on themselves and are therefore unable to obtain their own Standard or Enhanced DBS Check.
A basic check is the lowest form of criminal record check available, but will detail any unspent convictions an applicant may have.
What is an unspent conviction? An unspent conviction refers to a conviction which has not be classed as ‘spent’ under the appropriate legislation. This means that any employer has the right to ask about these convictions. It is only when they are classed as ‘spent’ that disclosure of these convictions is restricted to certain roles.
A self-employed person who is eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check can ask the organisation that wishes to contract their services to apply for their check.
This is likely to be the case if they are engaging in regulated activity:
DBS checks for the self-employed: Checks when you’re engaging in regulated activity
If you’re self-employed but are going to be working in an eligible role, or engaging in regulated activity, then you will be typically eligible for a higher level of DBS check.
So, how can you obtain this?
Only companies and organisations can request these higher levels of DBS check, meaning you cannot request them as an individual. If your role requires you to engage in regulated activity, such as offering healthcare, but you do not work for a specific company, then any appropriate regulatory body may be able to apply for the appropriate DBS check on your behalf.
The self-employed or a sole trader can ask the organisation they are applying for a job through to obtain the disclosure on their behalf. For example, a tradesman who’s going to work in a specific school can ask that school to do the check for on his behalf.
In some instances, a DBS certificate will form part of their decision as to whether to allow you to practice under their licence.
Alternatively, in some instances, if you are self-employed and eligible for a higher level of DBS check, your local council may be able to help you apply.
DBS checks for the self-employed: A summary
DBS checks for the self-employed can be tricky to navigate, especially if you’re unsure which is the most suitable level of check that you need.
We hope this blog has pointed you in the right direction, but what are the key points to remember when it comes to requesting DBS checks for the self-employed?
- Remember an individual can always request a basic check, they just need to confirm whether it should be processed by the DBS or Disclosure Scotland.
- If a self-employed individual is unsure of which level of check is suitable for their role they can contact the DBS directly to confirm this.
- If they are eligible for a higher level of check, they can contact any regulatory body they may have who regulates their practice, as they may be able to apply for the check on their behalf.